Monte Carlos

This is hailed as an Australian biscuit, but upon research I found something a little different! Full of fashion, racing and gambling, Monaco was associated with glamour, so the Monte Carlo was created in around 1930 in honour of Monaco! We’ve juts had the Grand Prix there in May, so I made a batch in the hope Sebastian Vettel would move over and let our Daniel Riccardo have a win! And turns out, he did!!

 

Ingredients

180g butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 1/4 cups self-raising flour

3/4 cup plain flour

2/3 cup fine coconut

1 pinch bi-carb soda

½ cup raspberry jam will be needed for assembling

3/4 cup icing sugar – for the cream

2 tbs milk – for the cream

60g butter – for the cream

1 tsp vanilla essence – for the cream

 

Method

Combine the butter, essence, sugar and egg and beat well. Sift flours in and beat. Add coconut and stir, and finally the pinch of bi-carb. The mix will be firm and a bit sticky, signifying you’ve done well! Roll tablespoons of the mix into ovals, place on oven trays around 4cm apart and flatten a little using a fork. Bake in your 180 degree oven for about 12 minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Here the top tray is uncooked, and the bottom is done.

For the cream, beat the milk, icing sugar, butter and vanilla together with an electric mixer and it will be fluffy and smooth, ready for building your biscuit!

Once cooled, spread raspberry jam on one biscuit back and vienna cream on another biscuit back, then sandwich together. You have done it! Ta da!! I hope you enjoy your fashionable biscuit!

Advertisements
Monte Carlos

Quick roast veges

Do you ever really want roast vegetables but don’t have the hour and a half to do them? Here’s my solution – smaller chunks or slices, and a hotter oven. Now I can have them in under half an hour, perfect for week night dinners.

Ingredients

Any veges you like! For 4 people as a side dish I have used;

5 Potatoes

2 Zucchini

¼ pumpkin

A bunch of herbs you like

A good pinch of salt and a cracking of pepper

 

Method

Place 2 oven trays in a 200 degree Celsius oven to warm. Slice your vegetables about 5mm or so thick. Put them in a bowl and drizzle olive oil all over, tossing it through. Pour the vegetables onto your pre-warmed trays and spread out. If you like herbs, smother the veges in herbs and a bit of salt and pepper to your liking. Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes. This is great as it gives you enough time to grill some meat and get ready for dinner, and you get your fix of roast vegetables!

Quick roast veges

Queensland Koulouria

These little darlings are heavier than usual koulouria, but we have Queensland weather at my place so things too dainty don’t tend to set as well. Although, I must say, we can make a mean meringue in winter time! These biscuits are great for afternoon teas, kids lunch boxes and family gatherings. The basic flavours and brilliant texture combine to make a beautiful biccy! Have a crack, you won’t be disappointed!

 

 

Ingredients

250 g butter

1 ½ cups brown sugar

4 tsp vanilla bean paste

3 eggs – separated

4 cups self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

½ cup milk

2 tbs milk (additional for brushing)

 

Method

Beat your butter, sugar and vanilla paste with an electric mixer until creamed together. Now add your egg yolks and beat on a low speed for a couple of minutes. It seems like a lot of flour, but add 3 of the 4 cups now, along with the milk and baking powder and again turn on a low speed and mix for a couple of minutes. If you have another beating device, grab it or a fork…. Your egg whites await!

We need to whisk the egg whites until they are frothy but no ‘soft peaks’ are around – so for me, it was 30 seconds with my ‘zusher’ – what I call my hand held little whizzer thing. A fork will work just fine, it’ll just take five minutes or so. Add your egg whites to your main bowl and put the setting a little faster for a minute to combine – or alternatively you can fold the whites in by hand. Either way does a great job.

Ready a tablespoon of the mixture into your palm and roll it into a little log. I have small hands, soI actually roll logs vertically.

Shape your biscuits into a ring, and place on a lined baking tray. Brush with milk and let your little loves go into the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 12-15 minutes – depending on the size of your rings. They will be golden brown when they are ready, and they need to sit on the baking tray for a few minutes before being transferred to a wire rack. This is because they are really soft and beautiful! Serve with love and enjoy! x

Queensland Koulouria

Spring rolls

Spring rolls are one of those dishes you can have as an entrée, a party dish, a footy season side dish or really, anytime once you see how easy these are to make! Warning – once you’ve made spring rolls fresh and lovely yourself, you probably will not order them at your local sushi bar again because they just can’t compare.

Ingredients

80 to 100 spring roll wrappers

1 kg chicken mince

A splash of vegetable oil

1 red onion

3 cloves garlic

2 tsp chopped lemongrass

300g kale slaw (a mixture of shredded beetroot, red cabbage, kale and carrot)

100 g bean sprouts

A handful of basil, chopped finely

¼ cup oyster sauce

4 tbs soy sauce

1 egg

3 L vegetable oil for frying

 

Method

Making your mixture is the first step in this very easy process. Place your splash of oil in a pan and heat on medium. Add your chicken mince, onion, garlic and lemongrass and cook until the mince is cooked through. Add your soy and oyster sauce. If you feel like you want more sauce, go for it. I keep it light myself. Now add your kale slaw and bean sprouts. Now add your basil and stir on low heat until everything is combined. Set aside to cool.

Take your spring roll wrappers out of the freezer and leave for 5 minutes or so. Separate each sheet now, just piling up together as they were, except you’ve divided them to make it easier when you are wrapping. Now to turn on some Eminem and Loose Yourself…. Ok, maybe not, but you are about to be a wrapper… so maybe some rap music is apt!

Crack your egg and whisk to make an egg wash. To make the rolls, simply turn your wrapper from a square into a triangle that doesn’t quite meet at the top edge. Now place a heaped teaspoon of the mixture on a triangular facing wrapper. Follow the pictures as shown, folding each side in, then rolling to the top. Seal your wrap with the egg wash and place your roll into a freezable container.

  1. Position your wrapper

2. Fold the bottom half of the wrapper to the top, leaving a gap of about 1.5 cm

3. Place a teaspoon of the mixture on the wrapper

4. Fold the right wing in over the mixture

5. Fold the left wing over the middle too

6. Roll upwards, tightly

7. Seal with egg wash

Ready for the freezer!

Freeze your spring rolls for a minimum of 2 hours. This allows for better cooking. Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown and leave on a wire rack to cool. Pretty easy huh! And these have no comparison, once you start to make your own homemade spring rolls, you will probably never eat the mediocre sushi bar ones again. Enjoy fresh and hot, with or without your favourite dipping sauce. I went for a sweet chilli – so boringly normal but so delish! Have fun rapping!!

Spring rolls

Scones with scrumptious cream

This recipe makes, depending on your scone size, over 80 good size scones or 100 petite scones. Scones are apt any time of day, be it breakfast, morning tea, afternoon tea or a late night treat!

I have previously posted a scone recipe here with wholemeal flour and raw sugar. This is my white flour, caster sugar version. However you make and bake your scones, just love them! They are simply a staple. Have a go at the cream – I get asked for it a lot!!

Ingredients for scones

125 g butter

5 1/2 cups self-raising flour

5 tbs caster sugar

3 cups buttermilk

3 tbs milk for brushing

 

Ingredients for scrumptious cream

250ml thickened cream

1 cup icing powder

2 tsp vanilla pod scrapings

 

Method for the scrumptious cream

Combine the cream, icing powder and vanilla in a bowl and blend with an electric mixer on medium speed until thick and lovely. Taste your cream, and if you’d like a little more vanilla do add it!

 

Method for the scones

Rub the butter, cold, into the flour until it looks like crumbs. Add the sugar and buttermilk, stirring with a flat knife or on low in your electric mixer bowl. Once combined, portion it up into thirds and knead a little, add a little more flour if you think it needs it, and then work into a ball. Flatten out to about 4cm tall and then either use a scone cutter to press out your scones, or use your hands and freehand it. Place the scones in a baking tins close to each other so they are all touching. Brush with a little milk and bake in a hot oven around 200 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes or until brown.

These can be easily made ahead of time as they freeze well. I love to serve them with my scrumptious cream and jam.

 

Scones with scrumptious cream

Polenta pie with vegetables

This takes under an hour to make and is impressive for a bbq lunch, or just nice as a week night side dish for the family. With the vegetables giving such beautiful colours, your eyes eat this first! I hope you enjoy this beautiful polenta pie!

Ingredients for the base

2/3 cup polenta

3 cups water

1 tsp salt

½ cup grated parmesan

Some olive oil

 

Ingredients for the vegetable topping

60 g butter

1 packet of swiss brown mushrooms

3 pieces of grilled capsicum marinated in olive oil and garlic (can be homemade or store bought)

1 bunch of asparagus

3 cloves of garlic, chopped or crushed

125 g feta cheese

Fresh herbs of your choice – I used basil.

 

Method

Rub olive oil around your pie dish before you forget! I follow packet directions for my instant polenta which means bringing the 3 cups of water to the boil, then adding the polenta, turning down the heat and stirring until it is thick. Now add your salt and parmesan cheese, stirring until all melted through. Spoon the polenta into your pie dish. Bake at 200bdegrees Celsius for about 20 minutes until the top is crisp.

For the veges, just think of it as making a side of veg; melt the butter in a pan, add the garlic and mushrooms sautéing for about 10 minutes. Now add your asparagus and turn up the heat a little. Finally, add your capsicum and if your marinade doesn’t have herbs, add a few fresh herbs to boost the flavours!

Spoon the veges on to the top of your pie and sprinkle with feta cheese. I chopped my feta, but you can purchase a crumbly one that’ll go down nicely too. Pop a slight sprinkle of herb on top (I used basil this time) and serve with love!

Polenta pie with vegetables

Afghan lamb

This dish is really amazingly simple but is packed with flavour. It is a quick week night dinner for the family, and left overs are great heated or cold the next day. I am in awe of how simple good food can be. This Afghan lamb is a song to that!

Ingredients

1 Kg diced lamb

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp salt

1 lemon

 

Method

Leave the lamb in the bag from the butcher. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze over the lamb chunks and then add the spices and salt. Shake the bag, and then leave for half an hour or so. Pour a little olive oil in a pan and heat. Once warm and slippery, spoon the lamb into your pan and fry. Move around a bit whilst you cook the lamb, and it will be done in about 20 minutes. I like to put the lemon halves cut side down in the pan to caramelise. Serve with vegetables you love, cous cous or as I did, with my polenta and vegetable pie!

Afghan lamb